June 13, 2017

Literary Fathers

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a Father's Day Freebie in honor of the upcoming holiday. I chose to do a post on fathers in literature. Not necessarily great fathers, but ones I love to read about.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Of course. Mr. Bennett is kind of a terrible father. I mean, he is more interested in being left alone than making sure his daughters are brought up well and taken care of financially. He has no interest in being a guiding light for his daughters. He's also not terribly nice to his wife. But he is pretty funny.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Now here is an excellent father! Atticus is kind of the epitome of a gentle, caring father. I know he is kind of a douche canoe in the other book, but we're not talking about that one.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett - One of the fathers in this book was pretty great. He had a hard time because his ex-wife moved across the country with his 2 daughters, but he kept in contact with them and welcomed them every summer for a month. He was involved in their lives.

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma - This book is about her father reading to her after her mother died when she was 12. He promised that he would read to her every night for at least 20 minutes until she went to college. And he did. Even when it was incredibly embarrassing to her to have her dad show up to late night play practices to read to her, or call her at sleepovers with her friends to read to her. He fulfilled his promise. He read to her for the last time the day her moved her into her college dorm room.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - A.J. Fikry was a fantastic father. Even though the child in question wasn't biologically his. The baby was left in his book shop. His wife had recently died. He just picked up and carried on.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Mr. Owens makes sure Bod is raised right even though Bod is not his biological son and he himself has been dead for centuries. He raises Bod to be caring and brave and work hard.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley - This book is about the Brontes. So Mr. Bronte is in the story peripherally. He is painted as an exacting, imperious man who requires perfect propriety from his children. I didn't particularly like him, but I found his characterization interesting.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Alexander Grahame-Smith - Mr. Bennet is quite a different man in this book. He takes care that his daughters are all taught very well in Chinese sword fighting. He believes it is very important for women to be able to protect themselves and others. And his daughters definitely do that.

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald - The whole premise of this book is that the author is grieving the death of her dad. So he is described in the book quite frequently. He seemed like a great guy and great father.

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum's father is one of the most hilarious fathers in literature. His crazy mother-in-law lives in his house and he clearly has violent thoughts about her. His a retired cab driver and he just wants to live peacefully with his television and his newspaper. Dinner table conversation usually consists of a member of the family saying something ridiculous and him grumbling under his breath and attacking his roast.

So those are some of my favorite fathers in literature. Who are yours?